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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Sphinx Supports First European Professional Orchestra for Minority Musicians

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Sphinx Supports First European Professional Orchestra for Minority Musicians

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May 03, 2017

A recent profile in the NY Times of Chi-chi Nwanoku—founder of Chineke! Foundation, Europe’s first professional orchestra made up entirely of minority musicians—noted that Sphinx Organization (Detroit, MI) has been intertwined with the progress of the orchestra. In May, members of Chineke! that have performed with Sphinx will appear in a musical showcase in the Netherlands.

Speaking about Chi-chi Nwanoku and her impact on classical music, Afa S. Dworkin, president and artistic director of Sphinx, said: “Chi-chi is a force of nature, and what she has been able to do in a short period of time, it has been fantastic…The response has been undeniably positive throughout the musical community.”

Since debuting, the Chineke orchestra has performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London has booked events around the world. For many of the players, they note that playing in an orchestra composed entirely of people of color is a remarkable experience. Desmond Neysmith, a British cellist and Sphinx alumnus, noted when speaking to the NY times: “I have done thousands of concerts, and very few stick out and stay in one’s memory forever…and that inaugural [Chineke] concert would be in that category.”

You can learn more about Chineke! Foundation and Sphinx’s involvement here.

About Sphinx Overture

The Sphinx Overture program offers free weekly year-long classes in introductory violin performance for elementary school students in Detroit and Flint, MI. The program is designed to address the needs of students in pursuit of music studies at beginning levels who have not had access to steady, balanced musical training. Sphinx Overture also features a guest artist/ensemble performance, including Catalyst Quartet, Sphinx's premiere ensemble.

Photo credit: Sphinx Overture, Detroit, MI

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